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ISIS Rounds Up 50 Facebook Activists in Mosul for Posting Pictures

ISIS seized control of Mosul in 2014.
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Dozens of young men have been rounded up by ISIS for posting pictures and videos online about life in Mosul under the militants, Iraqi officials said Tuesday.

Lawmaker Abdulraheem Al-Shimary told NBC News that ISIS had blocked Internet services and wrecked communication towers after seizing control of the city in June 2014.

Image: Mosul
ISIS militants parade in Mosul in a video uploaded to YouTube on June 12, 2014.via AFP - Getty Images

"Some young men were able to restore the Internet services, without knowing that ISIS had the ability to know that," he told NBC News. "Those young men started to use Internet and shared many pictures, videos and news on their Facebook pages .... ISIS were able to track those young men and arrested them."

Al-Shimary said that "more than 50" young men have been detained in the past two days for posting pictures of Mosul's streets, images of locations bombed by the Iraqi air force and news about ISIS fighters' deaths.

"All were taken into unknown places," he said. "We are afraid ISIS will kill them."

A senior Iraqi security official confirmed that the men were arrested in Mosul "because they were able to reconnect the city to the world."

The official — who demanded anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the press — said the Facebook posts had been a "big help" to Iraq's government a "clear picture" about the situation in Mosul.